Enhanced erythrocyte aggregation, revealed using a simple bedside test, has been found recently in several inflammatory conditions. The diagnosis of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is at times difficult because of the vague symptoms and signs, but is crucial because even mild PID can have future reproductive consequences. Our objective was to determine the degree of erythrocyte aggregation in PID. The demonstration of an increase in aggregation could be of additive value in cases in which the diagnosis is difficult.
A prospective case-control study was conducted. Fifteen consecutive women diagnosed clinically as having PID based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria, and 15 matched controls were enrolled. Blood samples were drawn for hematologic indices, C-reactive protein, fibrinogen levels, and red cell aggregation. We studied the degree of red cell aggregation using a simple slide test and image analysis. The variable measured was the erythrocyte percent (EP), equivalent to the slide area covered by erythrocytes.
Erythrocyte percent was 59.6 ± 4.2 and 80.0 ± 3.6 for the study group and controls, respectively (P <0.001). A significant difference was noted also for the other hematologic and biochemical markers of inflammation between patients and the controls.
We conclude that the degree of erythrocyte aggregation is increased in PID. Its simplicity, rapidity, and low cost should be further evaluated as a diagnostic tool in the context of this frequent disease.
Enhanced erythrocyte aggregation, revealed using a simple bedside test, has been found recently in several inflammatory conditions. We found that the degree of erythrocyte aggregation is increased in pelvic inflammatory disease.
From the * Department of Gynecology, Lis Maternity Hospital, and † Internal Medicine D, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, affiliated with the Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel
Shlomo Berliner is a shareholder in the Inflamet Ltd. Co., Tel-Aviv, Israel.
Correspondence: Benny Almog, MD, Gynecology Department, Lis Maternity Hospital, Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, 6 Weizman St., Tel-Aviv, 64239, Israel. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Received for publication September 10, 2004, and accepted January 13, 2005.